One of the best issues to do in Sweden – Lonely Planet


Sweden’s points of interest are limitless. Guests right here encounter unspoiled nature, world-class museums, fascinating historical past, stunning cities and cities, vibrant traditions and a artistic spirit that makes itself identified in the whole lot from science, expertise and the humanities to the nation’s ever-evolving culinary scene.

Whether or not you’re searching for outside journey, city points of interest or some mixture of each, you’ll discover it in Scandinavia’s largest nation. Listed here are among the greatest issues to do in Sweden to expertise its magic to the fullest.

Fall in love with stunning Stockholm

“Of cities I do know on the planet, you’re the one with all of it,” wrote Swedish singer-songwriter Lasse Berghagen in a well-known musical love letter to Sweden’s capital, “Stockholm i mitt hjärta” (Stockholm in My Coronary heart). Berghagen had it proper: Stockholm is a charmer.

Town has sufficient museums, historic buildings and different points of interest to maintain you busy for weeks, however a few of its biggest pleasures are the only ones, present in Stockholm’s vibrant neighborhoods. Wander the medieval alleys of Gamla Stan, stroll alongside Strandvägen and the Djurgården Canal, admire the panoramic views from Södermalm, then catch a summer season sundown over Lake Mälaren.

The Stockholm archipelago is very pleasant in summer season © Henrik Viklund / Getty Photos

Island-hop within the Stockholm archipelago

Some 30,000 islands and skerries make up the scenic Stockholm archipelago, scattered over an space of almost 1680 sq km (650 sq mi). Should you’ve received restricted time, you possibly can absorb a little bit of the island taste at Fjäderholmarna, only a 25-minute boat experience from downtown Stockholm, or take a guided archipelago cruise. 12 months-round passenger ferries and speedier summer season tour boats function to locations all through the area, together with Vaxholm, Grinda, Finnhamn, Möja and Sandhamn, which make good day journeys but in addition have lodging when you’d like to remain some time.

Take a hike

Swedes love nature – a lot in order that the fitting to take pleasure in it freely is enshrined in regulation. Irrespective of the place you might be, it’s simple to lace up your climbing footwear and hit the path, whether or not for an city hike in Stockholm’s Royal Nationwide Metropolis Park, a day journey to a rural nature reserve or a multi-day trek on certainly one of Sweden’s many long-distance climbing routes, present in each area of the nation. A superb public transportation community makes even distant trails accessible by bus, practice or ferry. The Swedish Vacationer Affiliation is an effective place to begin for climbing ideas in each nook of the nation.

Cruise the Göta Canal

One of the bold development initiatives in Swedish historical past, the Göta Canal connects the Baltic Sea with the nation’s largest lakes, Vänern and Vättern, linking up with the Trollhättan Canal for a full coast-to-coast crossing, full with 66 locks and two aqueducts. A canal cruise is a pleasant solution to expertise the luxurious inexperienced countryside, quaint villages and different points of interest alongside the route, with itineraries starting from day journeys to multi-day journeys on historic canal boats. Should you desire a do-it-yourself cruise, you possibly can lease a ship and journey at your personal tempo.

Expertise southern Sweden by bike

One other nice solution to expertise the Göta Canal is by biking alongside the towpaths — 87 car-free km (54mi) in all. Make sure you cease at Berg and Borenshult to observe boats passing via spectacular multi-lock staircases.

Additional south, Sweden’s three linked nationwide vacationer biking routes are good for day journeys or long-distance journeys. The 274-km (170mi) Sydostleden path runs south from Växjö via the fields and forests of Småland and alongside the coast of japanese Skåne. At Simrishamn, Sydkustleden takes over, persevering with 260 km (162mi) alongside the south coast previous white-sand seashores and historic cities and cities. From Helsingborg, Kattegattleden follows the scenic west coast for 390km (242mi), all the best way to Gothenburg.

The Inlandsbanan practice rolls via a few of Sweden’s wildest and most stunning surroundings © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

Journey the rails on Inlandsbanan

For a rail journey via a few of Sweden’s wildest and most stunning surroundings, take a experience on Inlandsbanan (the Inland Line). Beginning in Mora in Dalarna, the practice travels north to Gällivare, about 100 km (62mi) north of the Arctic Circle, making quite a few stops the place you possibly can go to points of interest such because the Arctic Circle, Östersund’s Jamtli native historical past museum and the Ájtte Mountain and Sámi Museum in Jokkmokk. An exquisite solution to see the inside of northern Sweden, the route additionally gives entry to long-distance climbing trails and the potential to identify among the area’s ample wildlife.

Seek for the Northern Lights

Sweden’s far north is widely known as one of many high locations on the planet to expertise the unbelievable aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, a frequent incidence between September and March. Few sights can evaluate to the magic of seeing sensible waves of inexperienced, purple, blue and purple dance throughout the darkened sky, the results of electrically charged photo voltaic particles colliding within the Earth’s ambiance.

Abisko Nationwide Park is famend as one of many world’s greatest Northern Lights locations, due to its clear skies, lack of sunshine air pollution and place inside the auroral oval, a band across the Earth’s magnetic pole the place auroras are most probably to type. East of Abisko, Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost metropolis, additionally makes a very good base, with many tour corporations providing aurora-seeking excursions, together with by skis, snowshoes and canine sleds.

Sea kayaking is however certainly one of some ways to discover Sweden by boat © Johner Photos / Getty Photos

Paddle a scenic waterway

Sweden’s lengthy shoreline, hundreds of lakes and lots of islands make it a perfect paddling vacation spot. In Stockholm you possibly can lease kayaks, canoes or stand-up paddle boards at varied places together with Långholmen, Kungsholmen and Djurgården. Kayak and canoe leases are additionally obtainable in different cities together with Gothenburg and Malmö.

For one thing much less city, the Bohuslän coast, Skåne’s rugged Kullaberg peninsula and the Excessive Coast area are all nice kayaking locations, as are the St. Anna archipelago close to Söderköping and the islands round Piteå and Luleå within the far north. Sweden’s inland waterways, together with roughly 100,000 lakes, additionally present limitless scope for paddling, with gear leases and guided excursions obtainable all through the nation.

Savor the west coast life-style

Some folks name Sweden’s west coast the “greatest coast.” Whereas east coasters could quibble, there’s no denying there’s one thing particular right here. The area’s undisputed hub is Gothenburg, a vigorous port metropolis with well-liked festivals and excellent eating places, procuring and points of interest. After a style of city pleasures, head north to Bohuslän, an nearly impossibly stunning area of deeply indented rocky shoreline dotted with picturesque fishing villages that fill with life in the course of the summer season months. Should you desire seashores over rocky shores, head south from Gothenburg to Halland, the place you’ll discover pretty stretches of sand round Varberg, Falkenberg and Halmstad.

Eat your approach via Sweden

Although maybe greatest identified internationally for meatballs and pancakes, Sweden in current many years has developed an thrilling culinary scene that blends basic dishes with worldwide influences, emphasizing sustainability and domestically sourced, seasonal elements. From Michelin-starred eating places to informal cafes and vibrant city market halls, you’ll discover a variety of incredible locations to pattern Sweden’s flavors all around the nation.

To delve deeper into Swedish meals tradition, take a seafood safari in Bohuslän, tour the vineyards of Skåne, be a part of an autumn truffle hunt on Gotland, or just head into the forest to select blueberries, lingonberries or chanterelle mushrooms, which Swedes name “forest gold.” A guided foraging stroll in Swedish Lapland is an ideal solution to be taught extra about edible Swedish nature.

The spectacular Renaissance-era fortifications of Kalmar Fort, seen from above © Blom UK by way of Getty Photos

Go to castles, palaces and fortresses

Sweden has tons of of historic castles, palaces and stately properties, concentrated within the nation’s southern third. Tour Stockholm’s huge Royal Palace, stroll via the gorgeous gardens of lakeside Drottningholm Palace or return in time on the turreted Renaissance castles of Gripsholm, Vadstena and Kalmar. On Öland, don’t miss the fire-ravaged ruins of Thirteenth-century Borgholms Slott. There are additionally many fascinating smaller castles akin to Skokloster, Sofiero and Läckö.

Numerous historic fortresses additionally recall occasions when Sweden was a lot much less peaceable and safe. For hundreds of years, Vaxholm Fortress helped defend Stockholm in opposition to Danish and Russian assaults. North of Gothenburg, well-preserved Carlstens Fästning, from 1658, occupies a commanding place atop Marstrand island, whereas 14th-century Bohus Fästning in Kungälv witnessed many important occasions earlier than falling into atmospheric destroy.

Street-trip via the Swedish countryside

With well-maintained roads, good signage and fascinating sights scattered all through the countryside, Sweden is ideal for a driving trip. Though main highways will get you from level to level shortly, the nice pleasure of a Swedish highway journey is meandering alongside secondary routes via dense forests and fairly small cities, previous glowing lakes, spectacular coastlines and rolling farmland dotted with red-painted cottages with white trim.

The draw back of driving in Sweden is the steep worth of automotive leases and gas, however you possibly can cut back the price of the latter – in addition to your environmental affect – by renting a hybrid and even an electrical automotive. Electrical charging stations can be found all through the nation; Chargefinder is an effective useful resource.

You may also like:Sweden’s most beautiful nationwide parks: from Lapland to lowlands9 of one of the best highway journeys in Sweden: take an opportunity on theseSweden’s most stunning seashores: from sunbathing close to the Arctic Circle to lakeside lounging

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